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Divorce Recovery Newsletter / Vol 19

May 5, 2009

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee!

Shelley StileCoffee wakes you up in the morning, gives you that jolt of awareness, right? So the use of this analogy isn't too far off when it comes to waking up to the reality of your life!smell the coffee

When I first start coaching with a new client, I usually find a huge disconnect on their part with reality. We don't like what we see in our lives and so we refuse to accept it.

In the most dramatic cases of detachment from reality, we have people walking the streets of our cities, mumbling incoherently and living in a world of their own making. Our hearts go out to them as we recognize that their pain must be so great that they have decided to remove themselves from the real world, aka reality.

Now consider this scenario: a person is getting In Denialdivorced and simply cannot accept that fact. They continually speak of what could be if only this or that happened. They want what they feel their reality should look like and not what it actually is. They cannot accept 'what is', I.E. reality. They will go on to deny what is happening, to blame their ex and to be bitter and resentful. They stay stuck in their pain and they will stay there until they are willing to consciously accept reality exactly as it exists. Strength

When you can accept your new reality then you can make powerful choices as to how you choose to live. I am getting divorced:fact. I can now choose how I want to handle it. If you stay stuck in non-acceptance, your choices are limited if not totally non-existent. If I refuse to accept 'what is' then what can I do? In non-acceptance, we try to change and control the situation, which of course is a total effort in futility. It's like banging your head against a brick wall. That wall ain't going anywhere.

We have little or no control over the external world. Think back over your life. Have you been able to control other people or the things that happen in life? We can only control and change ourselves. Therefore it is not so much what happens to us in life but rather how we choose to handle what happens that makes all the difference in the world.

Think of the serenity prayer. I have changed the religious references so that it will apply to us all universally:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to wisdom
Taking this difficult world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that Life will work out right if I surrender to Life’s direction. That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Myself.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Understand the futility of non-acceptance of reality.

  • How long you are going to stay stuck in pain?
  • How much of your precious time do you want to waste?
  • How will you be with this one life of yours?

We each have one go around in this world…how long do you want to stay stuck in the muck of non-acceptance? Take a long, deep sip of the coffee and wake up to your life…just as it is!

Read on...

Shelley Answers Your Questions:

Shelley, Thanks so much for your wonderful newsletter. It gives me a lot of support in this journey.Shelley answers questions

  1. When is it appropriate/healthy to date again after a divorce or separation? Are there certain conditions that should be in place before this happens?

  2. How to heal the relationship with your ex, and if this is possible/necessary/a good idea?

Thanks again, M.V.

1) Dating after Divorce: First off, trust your gut.

  • Are you ready to date?
  • How do you feel about dating?
  • What comes up for you when you picture yourself out on a date?
  • Have you ever spent an evening with someone still in the throes of their divorce and had to listen to their 'divorce story' in all its gory nauseum?

I believe that before you head back out into the dating arena you must have given up the extreme negative emotions surrounding your divorce. Being in acceptance of your life, letting go of sadness, anger, resentment and blame are all necessary steps you need to consider before you involve yourself in the dating world.

That is not to say that getting out in the social world is something you have to put off, quite the contrary. I simply suggest that your initial goal should not be to get involved seriously with someone too quickly to ease your pain. Rather, start meeting new people, expanding your horizons, doing new things and experiencing all that life has to offer.

You will recognize when you are ready to get involved with someone. You don't want to carry any emotional baggage from the past into a new relationship. You don't want to repeat things from your past that did not serve you.

2) Healing your relationship with your Ex: There is no tried and true rule about what kind of relationship one should have with their ex.

I will say that when you learn to let go of the pain, blame and resentment of your divorce, there is an opening for creating whatever relationship you choose.

Healing yourself will allow you to heal all your relationships in life. No one says you have to like your ex or be friends. This is all up to you. If you are uncomfortable around your ex.then don't be around your ex!

From my own personal experience, it took a couple of years for my ex and me to develop a relationship devoid of animosity. But we had agreed on certain rules of civility for our children's sake. If you have children it is important to create an atmosphere of mutual cooperation and respect so that your children can model their behavior after yours.

Here is where you must decide how to relate to one another. Put the kids first. Show them that people can still be civil and empathetic which each other even if they are divorced. The harm caused to children via hateful relationships between their parents is horrendous.

Picture of the Month:

Dog Sleeping
RELAX!!!! It’s good for your soul.

Coaching for Change

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Reduce the Stress of your Divorce!

I am always pushing my clients to do whatever they can to combat the effects of the stress of divorce. Here is yet another reason to exercise during this difficult time.


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Consider Giving the Gift of Peace of Mind for a Loved One. Give the Gift of Coaching.


Quotes of the Month:

"How hard it is, sometimes, to trust the evidence of one's senses! How reluctantly the mind consents to reality."

Norman Douglas

"Set up as an ideal the facing of reality as honestly and as cheerfully as possible."

Dr. Karl Menninger (1893 - 1990)

"If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever.

Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality."

Dan Millman,
The Way of the Peaceful Warrior


Where are You in the Divorce Recovery Journey?

Check out my Divorce Life quiz and see where you are in the journey to recovery from your divorce.

Get instant feedback from Shelley

An Alternative:
What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce is a non-adversarial process where you select a team of professionals who help you through your divorce.

The team will help you create a plan for your children and answer financial and legal questions.

The Collaborative Divorce Team consists of two Collaborative Lawyers, two Divorce Coaches, a neutral Financial Specialist and a Child Specialist.

You select your own Collaborative Lawyer and Divorce Coach. Together, you select a neutral Financial Specialist and a Child Specialist.

The Collaborative Divorce team has specialized training to help you:

Learn better ways to communicate

Answer questions you have about divorce

Deal with your emotions

Make informed choices for your your future

Address your parenting and time sharing concerns

Create a parenting plan

Develop a financial plan

Reach agreements

Click here for more information

What's on Your Mind?

We want to hear from our readers: What are your thoughts on this month's subjects?  Your story?  Any questions?  Feedback?

Tell us what you are thinking then in future newsletters we will feature your response.

Share what you are thinking by emailing Shelley.





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